Last weekend I drove to New Orleans expecting to race on Sunday. Race morning we were driving to transition and it started pouring rain. We were all setting up our transition with squalls of rain coming through. About 45 min before swim start I heard some thunder. It started to get closer and lightining was starting to get more frequent. I sat under an overpass next to transition for about 45 min waiting for any further notice on when the race would start. Finally I heard an announcement... they said the storm was going to be passing but there was another storm approaching within a couple hours with high winds, lightning and lots of rain. They decided to cancel the event.
About an hour later it did clear up, I ran the run course then went home, disappointed there wasn’t a race but no one can control the weather. It’s just one of those things that happens. Even though registration for Austin was closed, Ironman said they would register me for the race considering this one had been cancelled. My aunt and uncle live in Austin and said I could stay with them for the weekend, everything seemed to work out on a short notice for me to race in Austin. It was very cold when arriving in Austin and the forecast for race morning was 39 degrees. I have had issues with my fingers going completely numb in cold weather and was a little worried about the cold on the bike. I did find some hand warmers to put in my gloves and planned to put on arm warmers as well, after the swim.
Florida girl forgot what cold weather felt like and race morning I was shivering setting up my transition. I went for a warm up run but it didn’t make me any warmer. I put on my full wetsuit which did warm me up. The water temperature was 69 degrees. It was finally time to start. I took off my shoes and socks and ran through the cold grass to the waters edge. Fog was beginning to settle on the lake. For a few minutes the buoys disappeared. Just before the men started the fog dispersed enough to see at least from one buoy to the next. Once I got in the water I began to warm up. It was an in water start, no countdown just waited in silence for the gun which caught me by surprise. I began swimming and passed a small group of girls, found one girl going the same pace as me and followed her. I could hardly see anything with the fog and rising sun. I started getting really warm in my wetsuit. As soon as I exited the swim I began taking off my wetsuit and running up the hill to transition.
Trying to put arm warmers on wet skin was a process. I felt like I was in transition for 5 min. I knew I would regret it if I didn’t put any extra clothes on. Finally I got my wetsuit off, arm warmers and gloves on and left transition. There was no one in sight when I started off on the bike. I pedaled in silence on some county roads. I made a few turns, went up a few hills and with every downhill I got colder and colder. I was starting to feel numb. After about 10 miles I began shivering uncontrollably. My hands were numb. My legs were not wanting to move very fast. I felt like my whole body was slowing down. The roads were so rough at some points I felt like I was going to fall off my bike. I kept telling myself it was going to warm up but it didn’t for at least 1.5 hours. After about 40 miles I could tell the air was getting a little warmer. I started to warm up and could finally start drinking and eating some calories. I passed one girl and one girl passed me and other than that I rode by myself. A cold, lonely ride. Towards the end a few groups of age group men passed me. I was really looking forward to running, I knew that would get me warm! (Plus, I love running :)) As I ran into transition my feet were numb, it took about 3 miles until I could feel my feet again but that didn't bother me during the run, I was just so happy to be warm again. During the run I really started to enjoy the race.
The run was 3 loops. One section there were a lot of people cheering everyone on, the other side of the loop went through a park. It went by quickly. There were a lot of rolling hills on the run course and the finish line was indoors at the Austin Rodeo arena! It was pretty cool. Different than any other race I have done. I have been working a lot on my run and really wanted to have a strong run. My goal was to run a 1;28-1;29. I ran 1:30. I am grateful I did get to run one more race before calling it a season and finished in the top 10! This is def the coldest race I have ever done. It was quite the experience.
My husband was able to come with me to Austin and we were able to spend some time with my aunt and uncle. It was a good weekend! Thanks to Xterra Wetsuits for keeping me warm in the swim and thanks to Epixgear for the awesome kits they give me so I can look good racing! :) Thank you Flying Fish for keeping my bike running smooth all season, new machine coming soon! Thanks to my coach and everyone who trains with me, I have really had fun this year!